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Single life

(60 Posts)
vienna1981 Thu 11-Dec-14 11:49:35

Good morning everyone. Could I please ask your opinions on my situation.

I am nearly 44 years old, a single
man living alone. Throughout my teenage years and all my adult life I
have had no intimate contact with
any woman. That really sums it up.

Things began to go wrong for me just before my 18th birthday. A girl in my class at school had, on reflection,
been paying me a lot of attention. I
got on well with her and found her
very attractive but I didn't reciprocate
because I knew she had a steady
boyfriend and I was wary of treading
on someone else's toes. What I didn't
know was that the relationship was
waning. Anyway said girl decided to
hook up with my brother on New
Year's Eve which was the start of a
nearly four-year relationship for
them. Brother was either unaware of
the boyfriend or had been told that he
was all but out of the picture, thus
leaving the way clear, so to speak.

Rightly or wrongly I couldn't help but feel used, humiliated and very
jealous. Without me, girl and brother
would never have met and I could
well have enjoyed embarking on my
first personal relationship.

I don't think I have ever got over this. I am a shy, quiet and sensitive person at the best of times and this episode gave my modest self-confidence a kicking it didn't need. Since then there has been about half a dozen women (keeping count sounds terrible) I have taken an interest in but nothing has happened. I have asked for dates and drinks a few times but have been turned down on every occasion. I have lost contact (my doing) with the few schoolfriends I had. They are all now either married with children or in long-term relationships and I can't bear the comparison. I have six older brothers and sisters who are similarly settled in life. BTW the brother I mentioned earlier met and married someone else sixteen years ago. Ironically when he broke up with 'my' girl after nearly four years it was ME he came running to for support and company. Beats me why I didn't tell him to get knotted. We're fine these days but I shall never forgive him and her for screwing me around all those years ago.

The older I get the more I feel how disappointing my life is. I work full time in a manual job. No shame there but it's poorly paid and I'm punching under my weight. I work with people much younger than me who find meeting boyfriends and girlfriends as easy as falling off a log. I am very much aware of my personal shortcomings which makes me defensive and aloof, to the point of arrogance according to some folk. I hate socialising, even in the most informal circumstances, and spend most of my time outside work alone. I find it very hard seeing others of all ages getting along and enjoying themselves in carefree fashion, especially in pubs and restaurants and wishing I could do the same.

I would dearly love to be the polar opposite of the man I am. I have spent thirty-odd years having low self-esteem, little confidence and a good deal of introversion and pride. I am fed up of being a shrinking violet in his mid-forties with little to show for it. My only significant achievement is buying and owning my home. It's only a one bedroom flat but it's not rented. It's mine and I am grateful for that every day.

Needless to say I am still a virgin. One or two of my closer workmates know this and are fine with it. Goodness knows what less charitable folk would make of it at my age. Even telling folk I have always been single brings surprised or downright unhelpful responses. How come ? What's wrong with you ? Are you gay or something ? And so on. BTW I am definitely heterosexual.

Have I just been very unlucky ? I shall welcome all your opinions, comments and advice, no matter what.

Thankyou for your indulgence ladies and gents. I appreciate this is a lengthy post. wink

mamato3luvleys Thu 11-Dec-14 12:01:35

Not to be sounding very blunt here but please get over what happened when u were 18 your a man of 44 now. If you say you hate this and hate that your leaving yourself little or no chance of meeting anyone special. Why not try online dating a friend of ours who was in a similar situation to you although he's now 35 finally bit the bullet and tried this and he's been seeing his special someone almost a year now he's never looked back.
I might sound harsh to you and it might be easy for someone else to say but I really think u have to let the past be the past and start mingling this festive season be a yes man and get yourself out there it's the only way to change your life hopefully for the better. And who knows aftera couple of drinks you will overcome your shyness.

Good luck OP fsmile

Rebecca2014 Thu 11-Dec-14 12:06:00

You cannot put everything on what happened when you were 18. We have all been rejected by people, that's life.

Have you tried online dating? there are loads of women who want meet a nice, decent man.

arsenaltilidie Thu 11-Dec-14 12:11:20

The other girl and your brother did nothing wrong, they are not mind readers.

I suspect they are plenty of 40 something men who are Virgins.
So don't hide your virginity, people around you probably know but will feel you are hiding something.

Women aren't going to approach you, so as a man it's important to be proactive and get out of your comfort zone.
And realistically you probably put women on a pedestal so without sounding crude, respect women a little less. Respect must be earned.
After all they do shit and fart too.

LoisPuddingLane Thu 11-Dec-14 12:35:54

I don't think you are the only over 40 virgin in this world, at all. And I think a nice woman wouldn't be put off by that, although maybe she would be a bit surprised.

What might be off-putting is this resentment and anger you seem to carry, over something that happened a very long time ago. Regardless of what happened back in the last century, a lot of time has passed since then.

Resentment and self-pity is the easy route. I know. I'm no virgin (far from it) but I've hardly had any relationships. Since 1981 I've had no relationship that lasted more than 6 months. I do get very self-pitying about this, especially as I'm now knocking on a bit.

But it's really unattractive to face the world in that frame of mind. People like people who are contented, confident (fake it if necessary), and interested in life. And who are forgiving.

CogitOIOIO Thu 11-Dec-14 12:45:42

You've been unlucky but I also suspect that your insecurity has meant you have passed up some opportunities along the way. If you hate socialising, for example, you're reducing the pool of potential partners.

You say you would love to be the polar opposite of the man you have become and really there's nothing stopping you doing exactly that. Most of us have different personas depending on the environment and you may decide that what would work for you is to try on a slightly more confident, slightly more outgoing persona, make a conscious effort to be friendlier and get rid of the 'aloof' tag. I'm not suggesting that you be some terrible OTT fraud - that wouldn't last - but confidence is often a question of 'fake it until you make it'.

It should be a concern that you spend a lot of your spare time alone. You need friends of both genders in order to feel connected and, besides which, friends have friends.... increasing your pool of potential partners. Do you have any interests or hobbies? Could you be useful in a community project? Have you thought about learning a new skill? When you're not in the 'Club 18-30' bracket any more, and especially if you find socialising awkward, sometimes it's easier to connect with people if you share an interest.

LoisPuddingLane Thu 11-Dec-14 12:47:59

I've faked confidence so often that I'm now not sure if my confidence is fake or real. And it doesn't actually matter!

whattodoforthebest2 Thu 11-Dec-14 12:49:26

Lots of men and women in their 40's and 50's are single and would like to make new friends as they seem to be surrounded by couples (speaking from experience here). It takes a bit of courage to go out on your own and mingle, but when you do, it can open up a new avenue for meeting people. In my case, just going to see a live band in a local pub (on my own) started a great new friendship which enables me to do all sorts of other things with a friend in tow. It means stepping outside your comfort zone, but isn't it worth a try?

LoisPuddingLane Thu 11-Dec-14 12:50:52

Have a look at Meetup in your area - they have all sorts of interest groups, for all sorts of ages.

ScrambledEggAndToast Thu 11-Dec-14 12:56:31

My ex partner could have written your post. Admittedly he was a bit younger than you (33) but in every other sense the same. Ok, we aren't together now but he did finally find someone. It does happen, you just have to put yourself out there.

LoisPuddingLane Thu 11-Dec-14 13:00:04

The hardest thing (one of) about "putting yourself out there" is that rejection never gets easier. And if you are a bit sensitive (I include myself there) it is hard to grow a shell of insouciance about being turned down repeatedly. It's even harder if you constantly refer it back to a past event. "Oh this always happens to me, ever since..."

I'm not having a go, I do this too. I'm just saying it's hard, so be kind to yourself. And others.

Tyzer85 Thu 11-Dec-14 13:18:30

Why do you blame your brother? The girl wasn't your girlfriend, your brother wasn't aware that you liked her and do I need to mention that it happened over twenty years ago? It doesn't sound that blaming your brother has been particulary healthy for you and now you're stuck in a rut. I think you need to accept that your brother and the girl did nothing wrong and you should then try to find a hobby group or something so that you can get out an socialise, who knows what it will lead to? You need to take action, otherwise you will be forever alone. If you meet the right lady, she won't mind that you're a virgin and you never know, she might be an excellent teacher.

LoisPuddingLane Thu 11-Dec-14 13:19:40

To quote a popular film song...Let it go, let it gooooooo

Riverland Thu 11-Dec-14 13:32:48

Toxic grudge holding based on a fundamental misunderstanding on your part.. If you don't reach forward to take that cake, then someone else will eat it. It's human nature and quite right too.

Loosen up a bit. Do you listen to music? Dance? Go swimming? Paint? Draw? Read? What do you enjoy? Pursue your pleasures.

Only when you have let go of imaginary grievances and loosened up and opened up to the pleasure of living, will you be on the right platform to consider yourself as having something to offer a woman.

Being a virgin isn't the issue, as long as you are a warm, loving, alive man with a sense of humour and an ability to forgive and live and let live.

whattodoforthebest2 Thu 11-Dec-14 13:33:02

Re. putting yourself out there - I met a guy at the pub a few weeks ago (there with a friend as mentioned above) and we got chatting - he seemed really nice, gsoh etc, but he didn't ask for my number. I had a feeling he wanted to, I asked his name and where he lived etc etc. I'd have said yes to a drink/number etc and will hopefully see him there again. If I do, I'll see if he asks, if not maybe I will ( old fashioned girl at heart ). I reckon he was just shy or afraid of being rejected smile. I'm not that scary [hopeful].

LoisPuddingLane Thu 11-Dec-14 13:36:42

Forgiveness is so important - forgiving ourselves and others. Otherwise shit eats away at you. In this case, shit that was pretty much not actually shit. Your brother didn't screw you around because he just thought "available girl". Which, it seems, she was.

beachysandy75 Thu 11-Dec-14 13:43:20

You are definitely not the only 40+ year old virgin around. It sounds like you are very sensitive and a bit of an introvert. You are dwelling on something that happened in the past that you should have forgotten by now. I think you are worried that if people know you they won't like you so you are burying yourself away from life and difficult situations. You need to be brave and push yourself a bit, go out with work mates or your brother, join a dating website, find a new hobby or do a course to improve your work prospects. Just do something, take small steps but do something. Set yourself challenges. You must be fit if you work in a physical job - how about doing a marathon, or 3 peaks or something you can train for, get a team of you together?? You really only have one life, there is nothing to lose (well except your virginity! -sorry couldn't resist!)

The virgin thing is honestly not a huge deal. If you meet someone special they won't care either way. If they do care they probably aren't right for you.

My brother is 43, he is a virgin (well I am pretty sure he is). He has Aspergers and finds social and work situations difficult but he does get out there and do things. He is part of a sailing club which he does most weeks and attends quizs etc there, he did a photography course, he goes on holidays even if it is alone and takes his camera. I don't think he craves company is the way you do though.

I hope things go well for you and that you find some happiness. Let us know how things go.

CheersMedea Thu 11-Dec-14 14:46:46

I didn't reciprocate because I knew she had a steady boyfriend and I was wary of treading on someone else's toes. What I didn't know was that the relationship was waning. Anyway said girl decided to hook up with my brother on New Year's Eve

The one lesson you can take from this is that in affairs of the heart, you need to take a chance when ever you can or you can miss your moment.

It reminds me of a story of a friend of a friend. She was desperately in love with a man she worked with. Had been for a long time. He was her Mr Right she felt. After considerable pining after him, one night they'd gone out for a drink together and they got off with each other. Apparently it was all very intense and chemical! He wanted to spend the night with her. She was unprepared for this moment - in particular she hadn't shaved her legs or underarms - and so although this was really what she wanted more than anything she fobbed him off with excuses. And he never asked her out again. Fact is he wouldn't have cared about her hair. If she'd seized the moment, she may have had her relationship with Mr Right.

It's horrible being rejected but you need to remember its not about you; its about what the other person wants. Think of it this way -

think of a physical characteristic that you really don't find attractive - eg. blue eyes, ginger hair, too small, too tall, too thin - whatever it is.

If you met someone who was otherwise ideal for you, you wouldn't be interested if they had this characteristic because it doesn't do it for you.

It's actually nothing personal and no need to blame someone for not wanting you. If a man is into curvy brunettes and a woman is a rake thin blonde, he just won't be interested in her. Nothing she can do about it. And it isn't actually a personal rejection of her - she could be the most beautiful charming woman in the world it wouldn't matter.

Try to start thinking a bit more like this. And persevere. Just because a woman turns you down once, doesn't mean she isn't interested. It may mean that but it may be because she's genuinely busy/not the right time/wants to be chased a bit more etc. You need to be able to tell the diference between "no never" and "no right now." If you really like someone, I would give it two goes before you give up.

rb32 Thu 11-Dec-14 14:57:45

Don't give up! First off, you obviously want to change this otherwise you wouldn't have posted on here. Use that desire for change to actually do something. I understand where you're coming from as without my gf and kids I'd be exactly the same (and was when we split up for a period last year).

It's incredibly hard to make that first leap of faith into joining a club or doing anything that may help you meet people. A previous poster says 'loosen up'! Ha! It's just not that simple is it?

However, it's something that you are just going to have to do. There is no other way apart from going out and meeting people. This is not the movies in which you'll suddenly turn around and find your dream woman who you'll just click with. You really will need to make an effort I'm afraid. If you have any hobbies or interests focus on doing them with others rather than on your own. Get fit (or fitter) ask your sister or one of your brothers partners to help you get kitted out in some new clothes so you atleast feel like you look good. Then make that leap of faith and dive in somewhere.

Or don't and stay as you are. Only you can make the changes! Good luck and let us know how you get on (if you go for it)

LoisPuddingLane Thu 11-Dec-14 14:59:17

I'm not sure about that. I think if a woman turns you down, it generally means no and if you "chase" her it will just be a bit stalky and unwelcome.

LadyBlaBlah Thu 11-Dec-14 15:05:56

Dwelling on this girl and brother situation has most certainly set a script in your head that you are 'not good enough', then each time you have been rejected or reminded yourself of having no intimate relationships then you cement this belief further.

The reality is...you need to know what type of person you are. What are your qualities? What do you like to do? How do you treat people?

These are the things that will arm you for getting out there and trying. So when/if you are rejected you don't think "knew it. I'm rubbish (not good enough)" but instead can think "oh ok, that didn't work out but I know I've got lots to offer someone and will keep on looking for someone who I can share my life with"

Dating involves rejection....for everyone. We've all been there. And you can only cope with it if you are resilient (I.e. You have belief in yourself)
One rejection from one woman does not mean you are unloveable.

vienna1981 Thu 11-Dec-14 16:17:20

Thankyou to everyone who has taken the trouble to respond, especially LoisPuddingLane with a lot to say. Quite a lot for me to read and absorb. Please keep your comments coming.

MadeMan Thu 11-Dec-14 17:14:12

"He wanted to spend the night with her. She was unprepared for this moment - in particular she hadn't shaved her legs or underarms - and so although this was really what she wanted more than anything she fobbed him off with excuses. And he never asked her out again."

This must happen a lot in life; people missing out due to basically unimportant things. sad

"Fact is he wouldn't have cared about her hair."

Yep, I wouldn't have cared either about the hairyiness; no need for any last minute primping or touching up makeup lipstick's gonna get smudged round your chops anyway, let's just get on with it. grin

MadeMan Thu 11-Dec-14 17:41:22

"My only significant achievement is buying and owning my home. It's only a one bedroom flat but it's not rented. It's mine and I am grateful for that every day."

This is a very big achievement actually; not many people manage this easily (if at all) and the fact that you work full time is good too.

Perhaps go easy on your brother, because all he did really was take the chance that you hesitated over; plus he's not with her now anyway. Bitterness towards him won't help you much in your life and it will only be you that suffers.

Maybe you need to focus on what it is that you really want to be doing. You say you hate socialising, so in some ways forcing yourself to be social just on the off chance of meeting a woman might just make you feel worse. Lots of people are sociable through the internet these days (we're all on here after all smile) so maybe that could be a way to get involved with interests and meet people without having to go out and actually be sociable in person. YouTube, forums and social media open up possibilities to upload and share things with others so you can probably find many people with similar interests to yourself from the comfort of your home.

beaglesaresweet Thu 11-Dec-14 17:57:30

oh come on, with that story of the girl not sleeping with her crush on date one - if he was right for her (rather than after a lustful drunken one night stand) of course HE would give her a second chance. Some people just don't jump to bed on the first date, no matter what the chemistry - they could have (and did, as I understand) kiss with passion! If he couldn't wait ill at least next day he's no Mr.Right biscuit

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